The Student Government Association Senate voted to support the veto Tuesday of a piece of legislation allowing students to write on the glass wall of the SGA office.
The resolution was passed by the Senate last week, but due to uncertainty about the resolution, SGA President Doretha Benn decided to leave the legislation unsigned.
“The free speech issue obviously needs to be looked into more,” Benn said. “I support free speech and want students to feel comfortable, but I can’t support negative remarks that could hurt other students.”
The Senate was undecided the week before about whether to pass the resolution. While voting whether to uphold the veto, the Senate expressed the desire for the free speech issue to be more thoroughly evaluated.
“I’ll admit that it had issues, but like any other legislation, nothing is going to be perfect,” said Sen. Jessica Martin.
Martin wrote the legislation because a student had written a message to Vice President Zack Sholes on the glass outside the SGA office.
Martin and Sen. Nathan Farnor noticed the message on the glass one day and felt it was an original and creative idea that would increase school spirit and provide a forum for expression.
“I thought students and organizations could put advertisements for events or simply put a ‘Go Bucs!’ kind of message,” Martin said.
Martin said she did not expect the Senate to raise so much concern over the legislation, but she was grateful for the input by the other senators and was motivated to look more into the free speech issue.
“Due to freedom of speech, we can’t tell people what to draw or not draw up there,” Martin said. “I’ve been working with school attorneys, Tony Warner, and with a couple of other people on how to look into that for future events.”
Martin said she was willing to let the legislation go because it opened a door for future senators to focus on student expression and school spirit.
“There are other ways for us to have school spirit,” Martin said. “So I think this was at least a step into the right direction.”